Morocco’s foreign trade gap widens 5.5% y/y in Q1

By bne IntelliNews April 20, 2016

Morocco’s foreign trade deficit expanded 5.5% y/y to MAD37.3bn in the first three months of the year amid rising both exports and imports, signalling sustained economic activity, private consumption and industrial demand, preliminary data from the Office de Change showed.

Total imports (CIF) rose 3.5% y/y to MAD93.6bn in the first quarter of the year lifted by increasing purchases of equipment (up 16.3% y/y), end consuming goods (up 15.8% y/y), semi-finished goods (up 10%) and food imports (up 7% y/y).

 In 2016, Morocco expects the agro output to decline and thus food imports to expand. Total imports consequently will resume growth, weighing on FX reserves and the CA balance. The pattern will partially be softened by sustained decline in oil prices.

Exports (FOB) increased just 2.2% y/y to MAD56.4bn in Q1 amid subdued EU demand for Morocco’s value-added products. Passenger cars exports climbed 10% y/y while those of agro items rose 6% y/y in Q1. Phosphates sales, however, remained in the red falling 5% y/y to MAD9.2bn.

As to Morocco’s tourism income, it rose 6.5% y/y to MAD12.1bn in January-March in good news for the country‘s services sector and related contribution to the current account balance. The country is also benefiting from the tourism outflow from neighbouring Tunisia. Net transfers from Moroccans working and residing abroad also increased 4% y/y at MAD14.5bn in January-March. The EU-based diaspora remains the key source of remittances. As to net FDI, it fell 25% y/y to MAD5.14bn in January-March due to high base effect.


Related Articles

Trump warns US pullout from "horrible" Iran nuclear deal might still be ahead

US President Donald Trump on October 16 warned that the termination of the Iran nuclear deal is still a clear possibility even though he ... more

Pentagon chief suggests staying in Iran nuclear deal is in US interests

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on October 3 told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it currently appears to be in the strategic interest of Washington to remain in the Iran nuclear deal. ... more

Iran will in six years accept stricter nuclear inspections if US behaves, says foreign minister

Iran’s foreign minister has said the country is willing to formally accept a tougher nuclear inspection regime in six years. However, Mohammad Javad Zarif continued to rule out any renegotiation of ... more